CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Food shelters across the area are trying to stay on top of food donations to make sure there’s enough to go around just in case SNAP benefits are put on hold because of the government shutdown.
There are already shelters in the area that are seeing more people who need help with getting food because of the shutdown.
The Harvest Center is one of many food banks that’s trying to stock up with food while there’s still time. Volunteers there say if they don’t, and more families reach out for help by then, it’ll be too late.
Everyone needs a backup plan for when things don’t turn out as expected.
“We gotta get ready, we gotta fill the cabinets and have food available and be ready to serve and be ready to say ‘yes’ to families who come and don’t have food,” said Colin Pinkney, the Executive Director at the Harvest Center.
No one knows when the government shutdown will be over. This means there are thousands of families who don’t know if they’ll be able to buy food with their SNAP benefits come March if the shutdown continues. So Pinkney said he is trying his best to help families if that happens.
“We all ought to be really concerned for our neighbors. Our neighbors need us now more than ever before. Now is not a time to play politics. It’s a time to take care of people,” Pinkney said.
Different catering companies, restaurants and local non-profits have pitched in to help the center collect goods so there will be food on dining tables throughout the area. But there is a fear that the well will run dry if there are too many mouths to feed.
“It’s this weird tension. You feel bad for families. I really do. I know the reality, I grew up as one of those families that needed soup kitchens so I know it’s real," he continued. “The families that comes to us in need are their employees, they are people work in this city who live in this city, who impact their life in someway or other.”
If you can donate, The Harvest Center will be taking non-perishable food items. Volunteers say any help goes a long way.